William Raymond Kress III

June 10, 1938February 20, 2014
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William Raymond (Bill) Kress, 75, died February 20, 2014, after a long illness. He was born June 10, 1938, in Reading, PA. At the age of 15 he moved with his family to Camp Hill, PA. Bill graduated from West Shore High School in Lemoyne, PA, and in 1960 earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, where he was president of Theta Chi fraternity.

Immediately after graduation, Bill went to work for IBM in Endicott, NY, then in 1965 transferred to Raleigh. He held various positions at IBM, and at his retirement in 1996 was Site General Manager of IBM’s Research Triangle Park facility, IBM Senior State Executive in North Carolina, and Vice President of Manufacturing.

In 1997 Bill was named chairman of the combined Triangle United Way Campaign. The following year he came out of retirement to become President and CEO of the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC), before retiring again in 2001.

Over the years Bill served on many business, civic, academic and charitable boards, and was the recipient of many awards, including Penn State Outstanding Engineering Alumnus; Outstanding Achievement Award from NC Electronics and Information Technologies; Honorary Doctorate of Civil Laws from Saint Augustine’s College; Friend of Education Award from Wake Education Partnership; and the Archie K. Davis Award for Advancement of Research Triangle Park. The honor of which he was most proud was The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, given for extraordinary service to the state of North Carolina.

In his personal time, Bill enjoyed amateur radio (a hobby since the age of 13 when he first got his license), tennis, golf, boating, motorcycling, woodworking, gardening and building his family’s vacation home at Lake Gaston. Some of his most cherished times were spent with family and friends in Wyoming, where he enjoyed fly-fishing, golfing, hiking and appreciating the beauty of the West.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bonnie; daughter Susan Dianto and son-in-law James Dianto, of Prosper, TX; son Stephen Kress of Raleigh; sisters Kathy Dickson (and husband Jim) of Atlanta, GA; Karen Rockey (and husband Keith) of Enola, PA, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Helen Kress of Mechanicsburg, PA.

The family wishes to thank Hospice of Wake County, The Oaks at Mayview, and Kenneth Kanusu for the dedicated care they provided to Bill in his final months.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held Monday, February 24, at 4:00 PM, at Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh. The service will be immediately followed by a reception with the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607 ( or Triangle United Way, P.O. Box 110387, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-5387 (


  • Celebration of Life Service Monday, February 24, 2014

William Raymond Kress III

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Linda Hanlon

July 28, 2014

Bonnie and Family,
Thank you Bonnie for responding to my email I sent Bill. Although I was saddened learning of Bill's passing I wanted to express my feelings 5 months later. Bill was the nicest board member for Ziptronix. Bill always made me feel like I was as important to Ziptronix as anyone. Bill was there for me to cry and talk to about the passing of my parents three years apart. I always had his paperwork ready for him on my desk. Bill liked the large print better then the small print the others had. Bill would walk in with a smile and I would hand him his full size print of slides. I was glad I was able to do something small for a man that didn't mind sharing his time with others. God gave us a gift, Bill will forever be in my thoughts and prayers.

Forever in my thoughts,
Linda Hanlon

Dick Anglin

February 27, 2014

Dear Bonnie and family: I can't say how sad I am to learn of Bill's passing. As you know, we were neighbors and he spent time on our patio playing his accordion as well as showing his expertise on the piano. Our family was very close with Bill Dad and Helen his Mother as well as his two wonderful sisters. Polly and I want you to know we will keep Bill, you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Just to many great memories to include here. Love to all, Dick

February 27, 2014

Dear Bonnie, So very sorry to learn of Bill's Passing. We will keep you and the children in our prayers. Highland Park will never be the same. Love
Gretchen and Ken Williams

February 26, 2014

I am deeply saddened to learn of Bill's death. I was fortunate to work with Bill when he served as chairman of Wake Tech Community College Foundation and I was the executive director. He was an outstanding guy and a good friend. His leadership role at Wake Tech and the support he provided to the college will always be remembered in the college's history. His friends and colleagues will miss him so much.

Jane Rabon
Former Executive Director
Wake Tech Community College Foundation

georges commagnac

February 26, 2014

Dear Bonnie,
I have just been informed about Bill...
I am thinking about him and the many good years we have spent side by side.
I am also thinking about you.
God bless you and your family.
Georges Commagnac - France

February 25, 2014

Mrs. Kress, I was so sorry to learn of Bill's passing. He was, without a doubt, one of the finest men I have ever known. Jim Clary

Al and Edith Merino

February 25, 2014

Dear Bonnie and family, You are in our prayers for comfort and peace during this most sad time. Bill always set the example of professionalism and integrity at IBM and earned the highest level of respect. We have good memories of you and him as neighbors in Oak Park.

Jo Seekins

February 25, 2014

I remember well having meetings with Bill. He was an intelligent, polite, gentleman who always showed respect to all at IBM. I always admired him and was lucky to know him. God Bless your family.

February 25, 2014

Please know that we are thinking about you and your family, Bonnie, as you experience these difficult times.
Bill and Carolyn Schwartz

February 24, 2014

Bonnie and Susan and Stephen:

I wish I could be with you at this time, but it was not possible. So many of us have loved and admired Bill, especially his cousins, my brother Bob and me. All three of us were fraternity brothers, albeit at a different college for me. Bill was, like his Dad, one of the Good Guys.